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"Sleep Fighter" is the thirty-fifth episode in Season 4 (and one hundred-fourteenth episode overall) of Regular Show. It first aired on July 29, 2013.
The guys must help Muscle Man stop fighting in his sleep.
Mordecai and Rigby are sleeping, when suddenly Muscle Man comes in and leaps onto Mordecai's bed and starts beating him. Rigby notices and tries to get Muscle Man to stop but to no avail, even with Mordecai's help. The scene cuts to the next day, with the park workers gathering in front of the house. All of them are visibly injured except Benson and Muscle Man. Muscle Man protests he never remembered attacking them in his sleep, and as the park workers complained about how his sleep fighting issue is a park problem, Benson argues that it hasn't affected him and thus doesn't concern him. The scene shifts briefly to the night time, with Benson asleep and Muscle Man entering his apartment room, pulling the sheets off Benson and punching him in the face. Benson is seen the next day with bruises and a black eye and changes his mind about Muscle Man’s recent condition. The park workers suggest observing Muscle Man in his sleep to try and see what is causing him to fight in his sleep.
The scene changes to Muscle Man tied up in a bed and video cameras all around him with his walkie-talkie on the nightstand. Benson explains the plan to Muscle Man: they will watch him sleep and if he goes after them Rigby, now wearing an old police dog suit to protect him, will hold him off. Benson plays a soothing tune on the walkie-talkie that causes Muscle Man to quickly fall asleep. The rest of the park workers are seen monitoring the video camera screens in shifts. Later, Thomas wakes them up to show them that Muscle Man has begun dreaming. They see him thrashing and straining against the ropes and making threats and soon tearing free of the ropes before destroying the cameras in his sleep. Soon the cameras show the park workers staring at the screen and they are confused for a short amount of time only to realise Muscle Man is walking toward their van with cameras strapped to his shoulders. Rigby begs Mordecai not to make him face Muscle Man but Mordecai tosses him out and they close the van. The park workers wince and look away as Rigby gets beaten mercilessly by Muscle Man, yelling "The suit's not working!"
The scene changes to the next day and a beaten up Rigby is holding an ice pack to his head. Rigby scolds everybody for being "great spectators," as none of them decided to help him when he was getting beaten. They are thinking of a plan B when Muscle Man comes in holding two suitcases and telling the park workers that he plans to move far away to prevent himself from hurting them. But before he could carry out this plan Hi-Five Ghost comes in informs everyone of something he found. After showing a video of an ostrich kicking a ball at a person (the ball just rolls in between his feet harmlessly but then running up to the person and kicking him in a sensitive area) Hi-Five Ghost discards the video, claiming it not to be the right footage he spoke of, and shows them the scene the cameras got when Muscle Man started dreaming. He zooms in to show tiny purple dream monsters on his face.
Seeing this, Muscle Man remembers where he saw it before. He remembers babysitting Starla's niece and sitting on the couch and when Starla left, she told him to watch over the baby and he turns on the TV. The TV shows a creepy kids show with the same purple creatures called the "Huggstables" offering to hug a criminal. Muscle Man changes the channel to the world's gnarling hit crash pit but it causes the baby to start crying so he switches the channel back to the Huggstable show. The Huggstables have surrounded the criminal and then hug him tightly, causing him to explode in a multitude of sparkles to which the Huggstables remark how pretty his sparkling remains are. Then they point to a terrified looking troll and rush over to hug him to which he also explodes into sparkles. Muscle Man says that every time he tried to turn it off the baby would start crying, and what made it worst is that they played each episode of this show back to back, all 8 seasons with 257 episodes. As a result, Muscle Man was traumatized to the point that he was curled up on the floor crying by the time Starla and her sister had returned.
Using this knowledge, the rest of the gang deduces that Muscle Man's nightmares are being caused by his memories of the show. This time Skips has an idea, asking Pops if he still had that dream catcher Skips gave him since Pops had nightmares about talking dogs. Later that night, they tie Muscle Man to the stair banister and Skips instructs that when he begins to dream they should tilt the dream catcher toward him to make the nightmares come out. In Muscle Man's dream, he is in a colorful play area and swarms of purple dream monsters offer to give him a hug, surrounding and burying him in hugs. The park workers aim the dream catcher at him, shooting out a pink light that sucks out the Huggstables into the dream catcher. However the dream catcher gets full due to an underestimated quantity of dream monsters, the cause is believed to be from the gargantuan amount of episodes Muscule Man endured from the show. Seconds later, the dream catcher breaks from the overload and the remaining Huggstables, now seeped into the real world, begin attacking all the park workers.
Skips fetches a gym bag full of various dream catcher weapons (harpoon, bow, slingshot, mirror, pistol, etc.) and the park workers begin to quickly suck back up the dream monsters. When they are all gone, the biggest Huggstable comes out and offers to give them a hug. Skips and the rest of the park workers run off to get Skip's van to suck the giant dream monster into a larger dream catcher. Seeing the skateboard ramp again, Benson criticises everybody for not putting it away like he told them. But Skips responds that they were lucky that they didn't, as he uses the ramp to jump into the air. It is revealed that underneath the van is a giant dream catcher, which they use to catch the giant Hugstabble. After catching the last Hugstabble, the van crashes into the house, leaving a giant hole in the wall.
Muscle Man finally wakes up and says he had the strangest dream that everyone (except Thomas) was in it. Benson suggests they all get some sleep. Pops then wants a group hug in celebration but Mordecai ends the episode by declining the offer together with everyone else.
- It is revealed Skips is shown to have a duffel bag full of weapons designed as dream catchers.
- This episode reveals that Pops has recurring nightmares about talking dogs.
- Starla is revealed to have a sister and a baby niece.
- The viral video Hi-Five Ghost showed was of that Ostrich thing with the balls who previously appeared in the Season 1 Episode "Grilled Cheese Deluxe."
- Skips use of dream catchers is brought up again since "Country Club."
Pop Cultural References
- The episodes title was a reference to the popular video game Street Fighter, as well as sleep walking.
- The Huggstables are a parody of the children's television series, The Teletubbies.
- The method that The Huggstables use to eradicate crime in their TV series is a reference to The Care Bears TV series, which chronicled the adventures of several living stuffed bears who’d blast the evil out of their enemies with a “care bear stare.”
- Muscle Man mentioned "8 seasons, 257 episodes back-to-back" which alluded to the amount of seasons and similar amount of episodes this show produced (total episodes came to 261).
- The plot for this episode was inspired by a fan. In 2012, J.G. Quintel received a Facebook message from a fan of Regular Show with an idea for an episode plot involving Pops buying himself a dream catcher to aid a nightmare problem.
- When Starla asked if Muscle Man will be okay taking care of her sister's baby, she's not wearing any lipstick. When Muscle Man replies that he can handle it, Starla has her lipstick back.
- When Muscle Man is tied to his bed, he has ropes holding down his chest and legs. But when he starts dreaming, the rope holding down his legs is gone.
- When Muscle Man tosses the camera after saying "I'm gonna turn your face into a meatball pizza!," his eyes are briefly shown to be open, even though he's dreaming.
- Muscle Man's position on the stair banister changes multiple times during the fight between the park workers and the Huggstables.
- Benson disappears in the last scene when Mordecai says, "No thanks, Pops".